Marvelous retractable hardtop; great engines; unruffled high-speed demeanor; capable handling; high-quality interior; great fuel economy; Mercedes' MAGIC SKY CONTROL
Limited occupant space, even for a compact; a lightly used SL is about the same price
A fresh model comes with a fresh engine: The SLK300 has a turbocharged 4-cylinder under its long hood. It comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission (the manual transmission has been ditched for this year). There's been some reshuffling of options packages, and the AMG version takes on the new division name of Mercedes-AMG. See the 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class models for sale near you
If fuel consumption is a serious consideration, the SLK300 is still lively enough while returning 28 mpg on average. But why not make the most of the SLK's small dimensions and relatively light weight and go for the blistering AMG version? It isn't even that thirsty. Find a Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class for sale
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is available in SLK300, SLK350 and SLK55 versions.
The SLK300 ($47,925) comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, power-folding heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, a power-adjustable tilt-telescopic steering wheel, leatherette upholstery (called MB-Tex; sounds suspect, but it's actually OK), 8-way power seats with memory settings, Bluetooth and an infotainment system with a 5.8-in display, eight speakers, HD Radio and a USB port.
Options include an 11-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, AIRSCARF (vents set into the seats at neck level that emit warm air), heated seats, remote roof operation and keyless entry/ignition.
The SLK350 ($60,125) has 18-in wheels and most of what is optional in the SLK300.
The AMG SLK55 ($73,525) has its own transmission, chassis, suspension and brake upgrades to complement its powerful V8 engine. It also has torque vectoring by brake (for better handling), bi-xenon headlights, leather upholstery and a sport steering wheel.
There's an even more track-focused suspension option for the AMG version that also adds a limited-slip rear differential and a different design of 18-in wheels.
All three models can be optioned with active safety features such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist, although blind spot monitoring is part of a separate bundle, Premium 2, which also features navigation and dual-zone climate control. Premium 3 has those first two safety items we mentioned, plus an automatic parallel-parking system, parking sensors at each end and adaptive dampers.
A great extra feature is MAGIC SKY CONTROL, which makes the glass panel in the roof darker or lighter with the touch of a button.
Total trunk space is an adequate 10.1 cu ft., which shrinks to 6.4 cu ft. when the roof is stowed away.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
2016 BMW Z4 -- As a compact hardtop roadster, the Z4 is really the SLK's only direct competitor. But it's a formidable one, featuring smooth turbocharged engines.
2016 Porsche Boxster -- The Boxster uses a vinyl soft-top, so it lacks the SLK's serene top-up character. But serenity is hardly the point of a Porsche. What the Boxster concedes in refinement, it reclaims in pure driving pleasure. It's also about to be updated substantially for the 2017 model year.
Used Mercedes-Benz SL-Class -- Along with the company's big luxury sedans, the SL-Class is the car that really means "Mercedes-Benz." It's gone beyond class and status symbolism to become an icon.